By Josh Plichta
Once I graduate, how on earth am I going to network? Nobody is going to care about that new guy who works for a competitor. It’s over. The times of asking questions and being a student are gone. I am one of the “professionals” who is supposed to be giving advice, not asking for it.
OK, maybe a little dramatic. But that is what all too recent, senior in college Josh thought about entering the so-called, “real world,” and what a number of my fellow graduating peers thought as well.
Leaving PRSSA and joining PRSA felt like a major jump. I imagined a huge difference between the two organizations—one that went from development, to strictly professional all of the time.
Instead, my first experience with PRSA showed me that as PR professionals, we never stop developing. We never stop asking questions or being students either. Instead, we collaborate with each other, learn from one another and share experiences.
My eyes were opened to PRSA Pittsburgh a few weeks ago during a tour of Gatesman’s brand-new, downtown office. The welcoming atmosphere of not only the office space, but employees and fellow attendees, shaped my first PRSA experience. While I have been lucky enough to grow into a professional role through numerous internships and classroom experiences, seeing the benefits and authenticity of PRSA as a professional organization opened my eyes.
Hearing from the Gatesman PR team about their individual paths to becoming PR professionals or how they find passion in their client work every single day put me at ease entering a new experience. While I have the experience and confidence needed, extra opportunities like this past Thursday solidified my thoughts about PR and threw any reservations about joining PRSA out the window. With my first true PRSA experience (emphasis on one less ‘S’) under my belt, I look forward to more opportunities to come.
Josh Plichta is a recent graduate from Otterbein University where he studied public relations and health communications.